Category Archives: Family Law

  • Support Vs. Costs

    One of the penalties of losing a court case are not only the legal fees you will have spent but a strong likelihood that the court will order you to pay a substantial portion of the winning side’s fees. This becomes even more complicated in a family law contest. What if you have won significant […]

  • Seeking Retroactive Child Support

    We have discussed this issue elsewhere on this website. Of course, the leading case is the 2008 Supreme Court of Canada decision in B.D. vs. G. The court set out four factors: Is there a reasonable excuse for the delay in bringing the application for retroactive support? What was the conduct of the payor parent? […]

  • The Tort of Conspiracy

    In very complicated files, it can sometime pay to seek help from the court by bringing in a civil claim, formally titled the tort of conspiracy. A Tort is a civil wrong such as negligence or breach of contract. One would ask the court in their application that various additional persons are jointly and severally […]

  • Seeking a Reduction in Support. Be Very Very Careful

    We are frequently consulted by clients seeking a reduction in either child or spousal support. They may come armed with the fact that a child is no longer attending school or the other spouse is now living with a new partner and seek a reduction in support. It is not that simple and, one needs […]

  • Reducing your Support Retirement as a Material Change Double Dipping Again

    It is not unusual for one, upon retiring and finding their income correspondingly reduced, coming to the logical conclusion that their spousal support payments be reduced. However as usual in family law, nothing is that straight forward. The Divorce Act pursuant to section 17(1)(a) gives the court the ability to change an existing order either […]

  • Whose Lump Sum Tax Rate Do You Use Lump Sum Support

    Both the Family Law Act and the Divorce Act give the court the ability to make a onetime lump sum spousal support payment. Sometimes especially in high conflict cases, the court or the parties will agree that a lump sum payment rather than periodic monthly payments are the best alternative. Examples of when this is […]

  • How do I set aside a Court Order when I knew nothing about the Case?

    When parties separate, they at times lose track of each other. One party may start a court case and in certain circumstances, the other will know nothing about it. At other times, one can make a simple mistake and not attend court when they are required to. There are methods of setting aside a Court […]

  • Maher aka Muslim Marriage Contract

    We have written previously about the court’s recognition of a Maher, an Islamic Marriage Contract. For a number of years, these have been recognized by the Ontario Courts as being valid and enforceable. However, the courts will look at these contracts like any other, examine their context and contents for their interpretation and application. As […]

  • Spousal Support – How Long Will it Last?

    There are many factors that are taken into account in determining how long spousal support shall run.  In the absence of an agreement and if the court is asked to impose a time limit it looks to many different factors.  Those factors include: SSAG ( Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines) Length of relationship (often the duration […]

  • How to Make a Marriage Contract Binding

    As we have discussed elsewhere in this blog, the best defence against an attack on the validity of Marriage Contract, is that its terms were fair. There are many other factors that are involved, but more often than not, no other provision is as important. We often will force our clients to be more generous […]

  • Secret Taping & Video as Evidence

    The courts have taken a very dim view of secretly recording telephone calls, video taping and private investigator’s reports being admissible in family law actions. In a series of decisions, including one of this author’s favourite judges, Justice Sherr of the Ontario Court of Justice (the man deserves to be on the Court of Appeal […]

  • Forgivable Loans – Are they Income or Property?

    In another blog article, we discussed Restricted Share Units (RSU). These are examples of a golden handcuff by an employer to buy the loyalty of an employee. Another example of such golden handcuffs are forgivable loans. These are commonly offered to financial planners who move from one large investment house or bank to another. The […]

  • Common Law Property Rights – This Time She Lost and Why

    Why you Need a Co-habitation Agreement We have posted a number of blog articles already on the topic of property rights between common-law couples. As a prime example, when does a common law spouse acquire an interest or claim against property (often a home) of the other spouse. The catch phrase in justifying these claims […]

  • Lump Sum Arrears Payment of Support – Is It Tax Deductible

                Child support for many years, is neither tax deductible on the part of the payor nor subject to tax in the hands of the recipient.  However, spousal support payments have always and continue to attract this tax treatment.  Specifically, if you are paying spousal support, you get to deduct that and if you are […]

  • Marh/Mahr or Islamic Marriage Contract

    In an interesting decision in January 2015, Justice Walters refused to recognize a Marh/Mahr written entirely in Arabic.  The Husband and Wife were born in Afghanistan and Iran respectively.  They were married in a Muslim ceremony in Germany, where the Marh/Mahr was signed.  However, neither party spoke, wrote or read Arabic.  Neither party received independent […]